Research Fellow Security and Defence – Security Unit

Full time
36 hours
Job type
Full time
Hours workweek
36 hours

The Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ is a leading think tank and academy on international affairs. Through our analyses, training and public debate we aim to inspire and equip governments, businesses and civil society in order to contribute to a secure, sustainable and just world.  

The Institute has three departments: Research, Academy and the Corporate Staff. Within the Research Department’s Security Unit we are looking for a

Research Fellow Security and Defence – Security Unit

36 hours per week (full time)

The Security Unit conducts research on the nature and character of security challenges for the world - more specifically for Europe and the Netherlands - and the ability to deal with them. Security is understood as a broad concept, both with external and internal dimensions. The complexity of current and future threats has broadened the security research area. Moreover, the hybrid character of these threats and the question how to respond to them is increasingly taking a central place in security studies. It includes topics like cyber threats and cyber security, disinformation campaigns and interference in democratic processes, and other forms of what sometimes is called ‘sub-threshold conflict’, ‘grey zone operations’ or ‘political warfare’. The Security Unit is already conducting research in the hybrid challenges and responses area, but is in need of more dedicated expertise to study, comment and advice on this topic.

Job description

The Security Unit is looking for a talented, highly motivated Research Fellow to support research activities along the lines of work listed above, with a specific focus on hybrid security challenges and responses. The Research Fellow will work in close consultation with the Head of the Security Unit and (Senior) Research Fellows on security & defence, strategic foresight, and connected security – the three Programmes of the Unit. He/she would furthermore be expected to actively engage with other colleagues within the Research Department as well as with the Academy and the Corporate Staff.

Relevant tasks are:

  • To lead and conduct research as part of the multi-disciplinary research programmes of the Security Unit. This involves management of internal, external, or mixed research teams, coordination of research inputs throughout the project cycle, communication with clients and partners, under the supervision of a Senior Research Fellow.
  • To plan, prepare and conduct research in security matters with a focus on hybrid threats and responses (cyber, disinformation, foreign influencing, etc.).
  • To contribute to acquisition of research projects, to develop and write research proposals in response to client requests and tenders.
  • Dissemination of research output, through publications, consultations, working groups, expert meetings, etc.
  • As required, to respond to media requests in the area of competence.
  • Following debates and contributing to events (conferences, seminars, debates, etc.) on topics in the area of competence.

Qualifications and experience

We would be interested if the following requirements are met:

  • Master’s degree in modern history, political science or international relations, plus relevant working experience in the public or private sector, academia or think-tanks.
  • Knowledge of security issues in the broadest sense.
  • Knowledge of security actors, such as diplomats, armed forces, police and intelligence & security services.
  • Specific knowledge of hybrid threats and challenges as well as ways and means of response.
  • Knowledge of or affinity with issues related to arms control would be an advantage.
  • Proven ability to deliver tailored analyses and relevant advice to policy-makers. 
  • Proven analytical qualities, and writing and briefing skills that are supported by publications, reports, articles and/or blogs. 
  • Proven ability at networking and working with clients and research partners.
  • Expertise in gathering and analysing qualitative data, including conducting interviews and consulting subject matter expert groups. Expertise in analysing quantitative data and visualization thereof is desirable.
  • Fluent in Dutch and English. Strong Dutch and English writing skills.
  • Service minded, excellent social skills, capable of reaching deadlines.
  • Capable of working independently on the basis of instructions, but also a team player.
  • Network-oriented, feeling at home in an international research environment.


The salary depends on the level of education and working experience, guideline is scale 10-11. BBRA based on a 36-hour working week. The contract is initially valid for a period of one year with the option on renewal.


You can apply via the ‘Apply-now button at the top of this vacancy. Deadline for response is 24 October 2021.

Job application

Job Form
 Please save as: Your Last Name - Letter
One file only.
10 MB limit.
Allowed types: txt, odf, pdf, doc, docx, .
 Save as: Your Last Name - CV
One file only.
10 MB limit.
Allowed types: txt, odf, pdf, doc, docx.
Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy policy please visit our website. By clicking above, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.